The Magic Christian

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The novel is sporadically funny but doesn't really have a plot per se. Our hero? I'm not sure what the point of it all is; maybe there's some social commentary that's been lost over the decades I believe this was published in or , but regardless, it's fun to imagine being a rich asshole like this, at least for a little while.

The Magic Christian is a blatantly dark, absurd, and unrelenting satire about a capitalistic society's relationship to money. Criticism is aimed at those who have wealth and those who seek it. In principle, I'm in agreement that actions spurred by money can be insane, inhumane--undignified, at best. In a sense, ridicule is warranted. However, despite the satire, not many of the scenes were humorous. Imagining people groping through hot manure and urine to grab cash is gross and sad--not funny. I The Magic Christian is a blatantly dark, absurd, and unrelenting satire about a capitalistic society's relationship to money.

I guess I feel pity for that kind of enslavement. From ancient to modern times, money can alleviate fears and suffering, particularly for those without it. Therefore, I find I cannot sit on a high horse and fault people for the excessive lengths many will suffer in pursuit of cash. Our society screams that money is power, comfort, and happiness. The poor are treated as failures and are disrespected.

I disagree with that as it seems to me a person's 'worth' is deeper and more ethereal. The mightiest jab in the novel goes to the power and values enjoyed by the wealthy. However, that opinion is due to my own prejudice. For some, Grant, the protagonist, could be viewed as a brilliant man turning all of society on its head because it deserves it. I see Grant's actions as inane, unduly cruel, and non-instructive. Grant pokes at ant hills, whips out his magnifying glass, and toasts the ants for thrills and entertainment, or so it seemed to me.

Stepping outside of my empathy for the book's population, the novel's statement is easier: Everyone has their price, and the greedy deserve to be skewered. Good observations, but I only found a couple scenes in this satire to be actually funny. Jun 12, Nigeyb rated it liked it. Guy Grand is an eccentric billionaire who uses his money to make fools out of people.

Everyone has their price. This short book consists of a series of vignettes that riff on this theme.

A pretty typical idea is Guy Grand secretly buying a New York advertising agency, and then appointing a pygmy as chief executive who he pays to "scurry about the offices like a squirrel and chatter raucously in his native tongue" in front of all account executives and their important clients. Most satire does not age particularly well. The Magic Christian was published in , and is very much of that era.

The Magic Christian was also made into a British comedy film. May 13, Neil Griffin rated it really liked it. If you're like me, you've probably wondered why all of the billionaires who own the world these days are so boring with their money. Yachts, planes, islands, and Warhols, but so many opportunities they completely miss: They have carte blanche to fuck with all of our heads with amazing pranks that the rest of us can't pull off due to lack of means.

Terry Southern does us all a favor by creating a billionaire whose sole purpose is to spread confusion and chaos everywhere he goes with his money. I If you're like me, you've probably wondered why all of the billionaires who own the world these days are so boring with their money. I won't go into the examples, but they are all pretty great. The story itself has an episodic flashback structure with a present-day narrative underneath. The flashbacks are great and the present narrative is decent, but a bit of a let down. That said, those little spots of the book take two minutes to get through at the most, so it doesn't really matter.

All in all it's a funny little book.

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This is an interesting concept, but the point is quickly made, and so even this short novel becomes repetitive. What's going on? He manufactures a deodorant that does the very opposite. Technical Specs. Use the HTML below.

Jan 31, Laura rated it it was ok. Terry Southern is best known for writing the screen play for Dr. It's one of my dad's favorite movies, but I always felt like I was not in the target generation.

I didn't like this book much more than I liked the movie. It's about a man who uses his money to make fools out of people, and while the satirical commentary on greed is sometimes funny, it's never funny enough to be really witty, and never smart enough to be really insightful.

The Magic Christian, by Terry Southern (Bloomsbury, £6.99 in UK).

Mar 10, Lisa rated it it was amazing. Yes, it's true. This IS one of the sickest, funniest, most original books of all time. You'll laugh your guts out, for all the wrong reasons.

With a message that rings true today, 1970’s ‘The Magic Christian’ gets a second look

View 1 comment. Jan 02, Tim rated it really liked it Shelves: s , humor , fiction. Southern was one of the leading lights of the s counter-culture. He wrote the screenplays for "Easy Rider" and "Dr. Strangelove", and a few well-known novels. After reading this, I can understand why he was an icon. His humor was right in tune with and may very well have been a big influence on the times--it was sarcastic and pointed, but managed to stay light and irreverant, never descending to meanness or social criticism.

Southern was a first-rate humorist and satirist. This is one of Southern was one of the leading lights of the s counter-culture. This is one of his best-known works, and was made into a movie starring Peter O'Toole and Ringo Starr.

The film version was less than amazing, but the book I liked a lot. It is not really a novel in the sense of it being a long, developing narrative, but is more a collection of hilarious anecdotes centered around one character, the inimitable Guy Grand. He is a super-wealthy, WASP financier who enjoys playing strange pranks and tricks on people to amuse himself and stir up trouble.

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Billionaire Sir Guy Grand (Peter Sellers) thinks nothing of throwing his endless stream of money away. He adopts a street person (Ringo Starr), christens him Youngman Grand and sets about trying to illustrate to his new heir how virtually everyone. The Magic Christian is a British satirical black comedy film directed by Joseph McGrath and starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr, with appearances by​.

He buys up businesses and puts them to strange uses, always managing to keep his name out of the newspapers. Among his pranks are: buying movies and inserting strange little shots and cuts, buying up a luxury yacht The Magic Christian and turning its supremely luxurious opening cruise into a bizarre, nightmarish experience for the guests, selling cosmetics that do the opposite of what they are supposed to, sending his aunt to a dentist who is out of his mind, gathering a huge crowd and setting them all to fighting with sky-written racist slogans, and most famously, filling a swimming pool with shit and offal and silver dollars, and watching people go diving for the cash.

It doesn't really come together as a novel, but so what?

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It is hilarious, and in Guy Grand, Southern created a memorable, amusing, and enigmatic character that deserves to live on. Maybe someone will do a sequel some day. Oct 17, Michael Fuller rated it it was amazing. Oh, how I love the Magic Christian. This book really a novella is not for everyone. If you are looking for a book about characters you can identify with, you are looking in the wrong place. Unless you have a wicked streak a mile long The Magic Christian is about one man's quest to find everyone's price.

It is a mercilessly funny and mean novel about the modern age as has ever been written. The movie starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr was a decent, if slapstick adaptation. But, the Oh, how I love the Magic Christian. But, the spirit of the piece remained. What will you do for money? How low will you go for the dollar? For those who really appreciate the absurdities of modern culture, Terry Southern is the man to smack them on the head and put a sticker on them.

The root of all evil, because it separates mankind and forever gives one power over another. Those who would say this is liberal silliness are probably so corrupted by money themselves they can't see beyond it.

They are the men encouraging us to swim in the vats of excrement for their own amusement. How low will we all go?

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Taking on the establishment doesn't mean a lot these days, especially in the anti-baby boomer climate of the X and Y generation, but that doesn't mean this book won't appeal to anyone. The spirit of eternal outrage and insanity can be felt in these pages. Anarchy and the eternal optimism of humanity, intermingled in perversity.

Terry Southern was the principle writer of Dr.